Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Department Agrees to Set Up Booth, Exhibit in Berlin Store

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Department Agrees to Set Up Booth, Exhibit in Berlin Store

Article excerpt

Oklahoma goodies soon will be offered for sale in Germany.

The only place Germans will be able to get them, though, will be in an upscale department store.

Through a historic arrangement, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation has agreed to set up a booth and exhibit on the international floor of KaDeWe department store in Berlin, said to be the largest in Europe.

"This is the first time that we've (the tourism department) done a major display like this in a foreign country," said Jane Jayroe, the department director. "This also is the first time that KaDeWe has invited a state to set up a display and exhibit. They have invited countries many times, but this is the first time that a single state has been invited."

It's not the historic implications of the trip that interests Jayroe and other tourism officials.

"Oklahoma is one of the favorite destinations of Germans," she said. "They have a strong interest in Oklahoma, the West, native American culture and dress and Route 66.

"This is a good way to let them sample some of the food and to see what Oklahoma has to offer."

There's also a dollars and cents reason for making the trip to Berlin.

"Statistics show that German tourists spend $101 per day and we'd like them to spend all of it in Oklahoma," she said.

Although the department has been marketing the state internationally since 1993, the international budget has been spent on trade shows. "We felt this was a good opportunity to be somewhere besides a trade show," Jayroe said.

But when the delegation of 29 people head for Germany early next month, they also will exhibit at the International Tourism Exchange in Berlin, billed as the world's largest tourism trade show.

Besides the food and the exhibits, the delegation will include two groups of native American dancers as well as the Byron Berline Bluegrass Band of Guthrie. …

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